The release of the next settlement from another group of militants ceases to be important news - the advancement of the Syrian army not only successfully, but also surprisingly rapidly. However, the acute problem remains the population of these territories, which for many years lived under the YGIL *. Damascus decided to review the policy regarding him.
In the last 48 hours, the Syrian government troops continued to develop an offensive along the banks of the Euphrates River to the south and southeast of Deir ez Zor and Mayadin. Mayadin was released extremely quickly, which was facilitated by the successful operation of the Russian Air Force, and the lack of long-term defensive fortifications of the IGIL * - the Islamists simply did not manage to organize defense in a difficult terrain.
As a result of the advancement of the SAA to Mayadin, the Euphrates bend remained in the rear, but large formations of jihadists are unlikely to be found there. In general, on this site, they have ceased to have any organized resistance. Perhaps they simply do not have the resources for this, but maybe the other way round - the remaining resources are concentrated in a new location to organize a new counteroffensive, as it was just recently with a breakthrough to the Palmyra-Deir-ez-Zor road.
The only major settlement that can be considered a target in this area remains Abu Kamal. Next is Iraq.
The bridge across the Euphrates in Mayadin is partially damaged. It can be seen from satellite photographs that it was destroyed only in one place - at the very exit to the eastern shore, it is not so difficult to fix it. Therefore, there is no longer any need to build pontoon bridges. But it must be remembered that until the very last time in the Syrian army there was no engineering troops as a phenomenon. They had to be created literally from scratch with the participation of Russian advisers and Russian technology.
In addition, there are purely technical limitations on cross-country ability. With the capture of the bridge in Mayadin and its repair, the transfer of mobile units to the eastern shore of the Euphrates can be put on stream.
Those who are fond of the economic side of the war say that from the bridge in Mayadin to the oil field of Omar on the eastern shore only 10 kilometers. But even without this goal, the SAA only took two more settlements on the eastern shore in the last two days. To establish where the line of delimitation between government troops and pro-American Kurds will now pass is now problematic.
At the same time, the clearing of the Mayadin itself (and not just the bend of the river) began only recently. And to carry out a filtration in a city where a gunfight is still heard is quite a difficult task.
Syrian counterintelligence after the events of Deir-ez-Zor and the death of the Russian general decided to change the tactics of filtering the local population in the rapidly liberated areas.
Now all the male population living under IGIL is put on electronic records, while valid passports and other documents they find are withdrawn for verification. Before, people often simply believed on the word - and thereby legalized the Fibers letters, which were printed by IGIL.
Now people are assigned a personal number and issue a card with the total number of families. This will ensure an adequate ration from the distributed humanitarian aid. There are no other sources of food and water for the time being.
However, in the refugee camps Deir-ez-Zor, Rakki and Mayadin have been declared "zero tolerance", which has already made it possible to identify many former "successful Igilovites" from among those who served not in combat units, but, for example, in Shariah courts and "civilian patrols". Those who followed the observance of local "morals" and even enforced sentences. It was something like "civic duty". Relatively speaking, on a working day a man sold wool, and in his free time he cut his head and beat a woman with a stick.
The interrogations showed that most of them do not repent and continue to insist on their correctness: "We did not slaughter prisoners, we cut those who did not live according to the Sharia law". The verb "to cut" is not a figure of Arabic speech, but a practical description of what they did. That is, to cut their heads for violating Sharia morality from their point of view is still not considered shameful.
What is to be done with them (moreover in such numbers) now is not fully understood, but the proceedings will be lengthy. Syrian counterintelligence may simply not have enough resources to find out the circumstances of life for so many people in the previous four years.
In the rear of the Syrian army, there is still completely surrounded by El-Kariatain (Quraytayn) in the province of Homs. From the military point of view, it no longer represents either interest or danger, but has a symbolic meaning. And there is evidence that an operation is being prepared in the very near future to eliminate this enclave, in which parts of the Russian Special Operations Forces (MTR) will almost certainly take part.
The border provinces of Aleppo and Hama with Idlib now remains the most dangerous sector of the front. At least because there is basically a front line in the form in which we used to see it all the last years, and jihadists periodically try to counterattack.
For example, in recent days they have made an attempt to cut off the next advance of the front: the Ahrar al-Sham group went on the offensive in the area declared by the de-escalation zone, using tactics of penetration by disparate groups without suicide bombers. The attack was repulsed, but it shows that in the north of Syria the militants have a resource, despite their constant clashes with each other and the invasion of the Turks.
Ankara, by the way, decided to put forward not the regular parts, but the turcoms under its control, which started to carry significant losses for such detachments - about 40 pro-Turkish fighters were killed by the Nusrovites in the north of the province of Aleppo.
As for the capture of Rakka, as before, victorious reports proved premature. Kurds declared complete liberation of the city, but in fact reached an agreement with only one of the surrounded groups. However, the issue of the "capital of YGIL" in principle has already been resolved. It's just that the Kurds are rushing to report what they still dream about, and, incidentally, they do not yet answer the question of where the surrendered fighters will be taken.
In general, in the near future, strategic factors will be more of a problem, rather than a tactical situation on the fronts. The closer the final liquidation of the major jihadist forces, the more Turkey and Israel become more active. So, on the morning of Monday Israeli planes violated Syrian airspace near the border with Lebanon, in connection with this, the SAR air defense systems opened fire on them and damaged one of the vehicles. In response, the Israeli Air Force destroyed the Syrian air defense battery to the east of Damascus.
It can also be assumed that in the near future more and more attention will be diverted to the northern and western sectors of the front with unpredictable consequences for them.